Nova Scotia  -  Construction
How to Cancel a Union Card


You are free to decide if you want a Union to represent you or not. The law says you should not feel forced to make this decision and that no one, including the union or its supporters, should try to influence your decision using threats, penalties, intimidation or even promises.

  • Whatever your decision, we recommend you express it using a union card or by canceling any previously signed union card.
  • If you support the union and want to be represented by it, sign a union card. We suggest you ask for and keep a copy of anything you sign.
  • If you don't support the union, oppose it, or just don't want to be represented by it, don't sign a union card. But, if you feel this way and have signed a card, cancel it.

If you find that you cannot get your card back — and it may be hard, then you will have to let the union know that you no longer want to be represented by them and that you want your card cancelled. Do this immediately and do it in writing — our website has the forms and instructions to help you try to do this.

Even if you do this for yourself, there may still be a vote. Voting "no" to being unionized, if you get a chance to vote, is the only way to be sure that your changed position counts.

If you do not get your card back, or the union does not respond to your personal cancellation or to a group petition, you do not have to vote for the union — you can still be a "member" and vote no — if a vote is held.

Get the Forms

Individual Letter or Form

To cancel your union card, you need to inform the union. Send the union a letter or use a standard form. It should say that you no longer want to be a member of the union and don't want to be represented by it.

Group Petition

If you know others who want to cancel their union cards you might use a petition instead. Just like a letter or form, your petition would say that those signing it don't want to be members of the union and don't want to be represented by it.

You can get copies of these forms along with a copy of these instructions in the Downloads section. Alternatively, click here to view the form for Nova Scotia.

Using the Group Petition

  • At the top of each page it should say what it means to sign the petition.
  • Before anyone signs the petition, make sure they are given a chance to read the statement at the top of the page.
  • For each person who signs the petition, get their signature, printed name, address, and the date they signed.
  • All signatures must be witnessed when they are collected (the same person can witness more than one signature).
  • The signatures must not be gathered during working hours, but they can be collected when you and the person signing are on break or before or after work.
  • The petition should always be in your custody (or those who are helping you) or stored in a safe place. Even when you send your petition to the union, send a copy and keep the original.

Timing Your Cancellation

Don't put off canceling your card. If the union applies to be certified before you inform them, your decision to cancel your union card will not count.

There is even more reason not to delay when you intend to send the union a petition. If the union doesn't know some people no longer support it, the union may use those names when applying for certification.

It is important to note that membership evidence with respect to construction industry certification applications is very important. If the union is able to demonstrate that more than 50% of the employees in the appropriate bargaining unit are members in good standing, the Nova Scotia Labour Relations Board may automatically certify the union. Further, only 35% membership support is required to have the NSLRB consider the Application for Certification. If membership support between 35% and 50% is demonstrated, the NSLRB will order a vote.

Deliver your forms

Since there are no rules about this, use any type of delivery you want to.

In our opinion, the best way to send your documents to the union is to fax them to the union offices - faxing is fast and the confirmation page proves the union received them.

However, our next choice would be to courier the documents. Other options are hand delivery and registered mail.

Updated: 2014-11-07
Informed Employees | Informed Choices
Federal or Province

In most cases you will select the province where you work.

However, select "Federal and Territories", if any of the following apply:

  • You live in Northwest Territories, Nunavut or Yukon.
  • You work as a federal civil servant anywhere in Canada.
  • You work in one of the following industries:
    • airports or air transportation
    • broadcasting - radio, television or cable television
    • telecommunications
    • banking
    • fisheries (but only if your business relates to the protection and preservation of fisheries as a natural resource)
    • shipping and navigation (including loading and unloading vessels)
    • grain handling
    • uranium mining and processing
    • certain federal crown agencies
  • You work in one of the following industries AND (a) your activities connect one province to another OR (b) extend beyond the limit of one province:
    • air transport
    • canals
    • ferries, tunnels and bridges
    • highway transport of good or passengers
    • railway transport of goods or passengers